The SharePoint Term Store should be a standalone office application for enterprise taxonomy and vocabulary management
Taxonomy and corporate vocabularies have utility in a wide variety of enterprise application. The SharePoint Term Store is the best place in the Microsoft stack to manage hierarchical vocabularies but it is hidden in SharePoint and development has not progressed. Splitting out the Term Store into a standalone office application would give Microsoft customers a centralized place to manage taxonomies and vocabularies that could be used across a wide variety of applications. This would be a significant boost to corporate information governance.
As just one example, the Azure Data Catalog released last year includes a business glossary feature that duplicates some of the capabilities of the Term Store. If the Term Store were a standalone application, Azure Data Catalog could have simply used the Term Store capabilities for its Business Glossary feature.
I can’t believe I never thought about that myself! That’s a great idea. This should be a priority.
Russ Herald commented
I quite agree. If we seriously want to make best use of the ecosystem that Microsoft is offering, than a standalone taxonomy tool that can be used by Microsoft's various offerings (and perhaps also in external applications?) is essential to facilitating both consistent tagging and consistent finding of information, regardless of the form the information takes.
Good points Mark! Agreed, Microsoft should focus on transforming the managed metadata service into a complete taxonomy and ontology management tool as there are too many limitations presently. My only concern is that if they split it out to a stand alone, will the market may see this as a step back, sort of a move towards detachment to metadata? Making it an optional product to buy or not. Which would be a mistake if the public perceived it that way. It may take some clever marketing and perhaps a structuring of the architecture of SharePoint to be reliant on this product. Or perhaps it's just thrown in with SharePoint Enterprise edition?
The Term Store should become a (graph) integrated service/ API that integrates with components like Azure Information Protection to provide a single source for terms including data classification terms.
Definitely sounds like a great way to extend the benefits of a structured vocabulary across more of the enterprise since not everything is in SharePoint!
Mark Leher commented
Read the complete argument for this at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-microsoft-should-turn-sharepoint-term-store-next-killer-leher
Thats a brilliant Idea. And a missing link for a holistic "Azure Cross Over Tagging"....